HBO Max, the home of prestigious HBO TV shows, Warner Bros. and DC Comics films, along with original series like “Sex and the City” revival “And Just Like That…,” is going through some major changes this week, as its new owner plots a new strategy for the streamer and its affiliated entertainment brands, including Warner Bros. movie studios, TBS, TNT and CNN.
But in summer 2023, starting in the U.S., Warner Bros. Discovery will begin the process of combining HBO Max with its corporate cousin Discovery+, the home of reality TV from the likes of Food Network, HGTV, Magnolia Network, TLC, and Discovery Channel. This will create one big streaming service under the corporate umbrella of Warner Bros. Discovery. But what does that really mean for subscribers to each service?
HBO Max is the streaming service started by the company formerly known as WarnerMedia, which included premium cable channel HBO, but also programming from cable networks including TBS, TNT and CNN and the Warner Bros. film studio. WarnerMedia was formerly owned by AT&T, but the conglomerate announced in 2021 that it would spin off WarnerMedia and merge it with Discovery, a company that includes networks like Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, and streaming service Discovery+. The merger became official in April, and the new company is now called Warner Bros. Discovery.
The deal put HBO Max under new management, with its own ideas about what HBO Max should be. CEO David Zaslav confirmed what leadership has said previously in an earnings call with investors on Thursday: Warner Bros. Discovery plans to eventually combine HBO Max and Discovery+ into one. “Our main priority is launching an integrated (streaming) service,” he said. The service will roll out in the U.S. in the summer of 2023 (and later in other markets), and the company will release more specific details in the months to come.